Caramel Corn, Lightened up!

Caramel Corn, Lightened Up

I love caramel corn because it is ultimately the perfect salty sweet crunchy treat.  As I have said before, I have been trying to watch what I eat (hey, I never said I was good at it.) Carmel corn isn’t the healthiest treat with the sugar and butter in it, but air popped popcorn isn’t a bad snack  with all that good fiber.  So, since the unhealthy part of caramel corn is the caramel I came up with the perfect recipe for caramel corn for those of you who are calorie conscious.

I took my favorite caramel corn recipe I shared with you last year and I halved the recipe for the caramel and kept the amount of popcorn the same. If you don’t have an air popper and love popcorn, you should totally get one.  I found mine at Target for $20 and have totally gotten my money back with how many times I use it.  With this light caramel corn recipe, your popcorn will have a lot less caramel on it, but you still get the amazing caramel flavor.  I pretty much make this recipe every weekend for watching movies, new TV series, or when I am just zoned out on my couch watching my computer screen.  I made some last night to eat while watching the Oscars today.  You should probably too, because like the fabulous stars you are watching, you will feel more fabulous with this lightened up caramel corn.  Yeah… there was some shameless marketing for my recipe:).

Lighter Version of Caramel Corn

Light Caramel Corn
Serves: 6
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 cups of popped popcorn,placed in extra large bowl
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place butter in medium pot over medium heat to melt. Add in brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and allow sugar syrup to simmer for 4-5 minutes without stirring.
  4. After, stir the mixture and continue to simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The caramel mixture will start to become a deep golden color.
  5. At this point turn off heat and stir in salt, baking soda and vanilla extract.
  6. Once the caramel is all mixed together, pour over large bowl of popcorn. Stir the caramel into the popcorn, trying to get all the popcorn mixed in. You will need to work quickly because caramel with start to dry. (Also note that as you bake it you will be able to spread the caramel out more.)
  7. Spread the popcorn out on the lined baking sheet and place in the oven.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. The finished popcorn will have a deep amber color and the caramel will looks a bit like sugar crystals. I usually go the entire 20 minutes because every five minutes I use a rubber spatula to break up and stir the caramel so each piece of popcorn has a little caramel on it.
  9. Let the caramel corn cool and store in an airtight container.


Light Caramel Corn

Side Note:  Last night I made my caramel corn with mushroom popcorn which you can find on Amazon.  It pops up really huge and is perfect for caramel corn.  I also use the regular kernels that you find at the grocery store sometimes so whatever it easiest for you… both delicious!

Need more ideas of what to make for watching the Oscars tonight?

How about this award-winning line up…


California Salsa with tortilla chips- you can whip this up really fast and be back to the red carpet gawking with a yummy snack

soft pretzels with jalapeño dipping sauce

M’s Soft Homemade Pretzels with Jalapeno Dipping Sauce looks to good,  if you start now you will be enjoying these well before all the star finish getting their make-up done.

Baked Potato Dip with veggies, chips, and pretzels

Baked Potato Dip if so easy to make and you can have a variety of dippers to pick from.
White Trash Party Mix

White Trash Party Mix is always a crowd pleaser and oh so easy to make.   Don’t let the name fool you,  you can still be classy and eat it during the Oscars Winking smile.

Need more popcorn recipes?  Check of M’s post about all her favorite popcorn recipes.

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